The concept of content marketing dates back to Benjamin Franklin and his publishing of the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. This served as a promotion of his printing business. However, in modern times content marketing’s use and popularity have gained traction over the last few years.
Intro to Content Marketing
When getting started in content marketing, it’s important to remember who you are writing for. You do not want to write over the heads of your audience but instead, write for your audience. Take the time to dive in and get to know who your audience is. The more you know about who your audience is, the easier it becomes to engage with them on a personal level. From there, tailor your content to them.
Your content marketing plan should accomplish 3 things:
- Answering your audience’s questions
- Providing them with something of value
- Keeping them wanting more.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you put together your strategy. First, take the time to get to know your audience. Look at who they are following and interacting with on social media to get a sense of their likes and interests.
Experiment with the best types of content to reach your audience. Don’t be afraid to use multiple formats of content. Blogs are better for some people, but a video will be better for others. With trying multiple formats, try different channels as well and talk directly to your audience. Again, this helps to grow a genuine relationship with your customer.
Throw away the business-speak. The jargon creates a disconnect with your audience. Just be yourself and connect.
Make your responses to your audience and those interacting with you online unique, interesting, and exciting. The stock, boilerplate answers don’t give people a connection to the brand. Be genuine.
Use the information you have gathered about your customer to create engaging headlines and also use quality imagery that catches your audience’s attention.
Get to Know Your Online Customers
Getting to know your customers is an important step in content marketing. Segment your customers into ‘who they are’ and ‘what they like’ groups. This helps to keep messaging specific to those groups individually. Rather than targeting a wider variety of people, segmentation helps to identify the groups of people most interested in your product or service. The results are a more cost-effective and persuasive way to connect with potential customers. By researching who your audience is and segmenting them into groups, you can tailor specific content that excites and entertains them throughout all of your marketing channels.
Another benefit is being able to pinpoint audience behavior, and then using this set of information to refine your marketing approach. Knowing how your audience is interacting online and with social channels will better inform your next marketing efforts. You should try and answer the question “what social channels does x segment use” as you work through your content marketing. This will help to inform the right moves with your content as well as your media.
To get insights into what people in your audience search for, try tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Answer the Public. Don’t forget to also utilize analytics features you probably already have set up with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will also help to give better insight into the demographics of your audience. Experiment with as many tools as possible to get a more complete picture of who your audience is and how they behave online. Don’t forget the face-to-face element as well. Your audience is still full of real people that want to connect.
Be on the lookout for part two of this blog where we will talk about choosing the right format for your content, writing for your online audience, and how to help your content be seen.